THE family of a popular 16-year-old boy who was set for a career in the Army have described the support they have received following his death as “overwhelming”.

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Macauley Clements, of Carpenter Close, Ixworth, died in hospital on Friday – the day after he was seriously hurt in a road accident on the A14 at Bury St Edmunds.

He had been a passenger in a BMW driven by his friend, 19-year-old Adam Weller, from Weeting, near Brandon, which ended up hitting a tree. Adam died at the scene of the crash.

Yesterday, tributes were paid to Macauley by his mother Maxine and father Anton, brothers Jordan, 19, and Aaron, 20, and grandfather Gordon Ryder, 75.

They described the teenager, who attended Ixworth Primary School, Ixworth Middle School and Thurston Community College, as popular, happy, fun-loving, polite and helpful.

Macauley, who had been a member of Ixworth Army Cadet Force, had hoped to have a career in the Army – like his grandfather Gordon, who had inspired him.

His family said he was due to go to Pirbright on February 6 for selection and aspired to join the Coldstream Guards.

He was also “passionate” about riding his BMX bike and Aprilia motorbike, and he also enjoyed family holidays, jogging, had been into martial arts and supported Leeds United Football Club.

Maxine said she just wanted to thank everybody for their support following the tragedy.

“It’s just been overwhelming, really. You cannot thank everybody (personally), and it’s just been so nice.”

She added how the emergency services at the scene, and the care Macauley received at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, had been “brilliant”.

She said what people remembered about Macauley was he was “always happy”.

“Everybody I have spoken to have just been on about how happy he was, how polite he was. If invited in ‘should I take my shoes off’. So polite and always lit up the room when he came in.”

Maxine, 45, described how when Anton’s mother lost her partner last year Macauley had supported her by going round, doing the shopping and cutting the grass.

Anton, 43, who is a motor vehicle engineer, said his son was “always the life and soul of the party”. He said: “I knew he was a popular lad and he had lots of friends.”

With one of his best-friends, Leigham Williams, he did BMXing all over the country.

Macauley, who had worked part-time at Ixworth Fish & Chip Shop, had a girlfriend called Sophie Porter who he intended to stay with when he went into the Army, Anton said.

Maxine said the family was “very” close, adding Macauley had a special bond with his grandfather Gordon, who he would stay with at weekends and holidays.

Anton said he got to the scene of the crash after receiving a phone call, with Maxine arriving about half an hour later.

Macauley was on life support in hospital, and Anton said he had been a “fighter”.

A date for Macauley’s funeral has not yet been set. It will be family flowers only with donations being split between Bury Skatepark, the Help for Heroes charity, the intensive care unit at Addenbrooke’s and St Nicholas Hospice Care.

n A 20-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds, who was driving a red Ford Fiesta, was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further inquiries.

A police spokeswoman said the BMW and a red Ford Fiesta were seen travelling along the road before the BMW left the carriageway and hit a tree.

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